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We love Wedding Fairs

We love wedding fairs! it gives us the opportunity to talk to lots of couples that have never heard of a Celebrant led ceremony.  Those that have, we confirm what they can expect and almost always we get lovely feedback.   Often couple have already booked their venue and the registrar but once they find out how flexible our ceremonies are they regret that they didn’t come and see us first.  However, I am sure that  they will still enjoy their day after all it is all about their commitment to each other, if they don’t they can always consider a Vow Renewal with us at a later date.  Sandwich feb 2018

This last weekend we had a great time talking to everyone. In particular we were talking to a Bride to be who was with her parents looking out options,  I happened to mention to the parents that they could have another party and have vow renewals to which they replied they were already thinking of that for their 25th anniversary.  I told them all their options and they then realised they could hold it in their very large garden too.  They all went away with lovely smiles.   I am hopefully going to hear from them all again!

Howfield Manor Feb 2018

Wedding Fair

Today it is Valentine’s Day, and I know there will be lots of couples choosing this day for their engagement day.  Congratulations if you have!   I will look forward to talking to you both at forthcoming fairs and in particular we will be at the Howfield Manor Wedding Fair this Sunday.  Do come along and find us and talk through all the options that open up to you when you have a Celebrant led ceremony.   I am so excited to meet you all!  Such a lovely feeling helping couples with their choices and often telling them that they do have choices!

Marine Hotel, Whitstable

jan21marine

2018 Wedding Fair

The Marine Hotel, Whitstable, on Sunday 21st January will be our first Wedding Fair of the New Year.  We are hoping to display our new arch for those field. beach and garden ceremonies.  It is especially lovely for Handfasting  ceremonies and we will, of course, be taking it with us to The Healing Weekend in July.  We will also bring along our Bisom that is used for the Jumping the Broom ceremony.  Tying the Knot and Jumping the Broom are not just for Handfasting ceremonies but can also be incorporated into a Wedding ceremony too.   So we hope to see you at the Marine Hotel.   If you can’t make it we are booked into other fairs during the year.  They are all listed on our Welcome page.

Merry 2017 Christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry 2017 Christmas and a Brilliant 2018 New Year x

We hope you have a Merry 2017 Christmas and are all looking forward to whatever 2018 brings.   There are lots of traditions for both Christmas and New Year that we continue throughout our lives, like how we receive Father Christmas and Santa Claus (which name do you use?).  I do remember my young grandson being very confuse one Christmas when my daughter and I were taking him to see Father Christmas and he asked if he would also get to see Santa Clause too!   He did get to see both and Mrs Clause, who was making real mince pies in their kitchen.

Another traditions that we always have is the ‘first footing’ for New Year.   We always had to make sure that a plate with a piece of coal (for warmth in the new year), a piece of cake or mince pie (so you are always fed in the new year) and some money (so you will always have enough throughout the new year) on and then it had to be put outside on New Year’s eve in readiness.   Just before midnight, if you were not expecting visitors with greetings, then a person (the nearest to a tall, dark haired person) must go outside and wait for midnight to strike before knocking on the door and being allowed in bearing the plate of goodies for the New Year!

There are also great traditions within ceremonies.  In weddings it is the exchanging of rings, the first kiss and of course the exchanging of vows.  Vow Renewals are often a replica of your wedding ceremony,  Baby namings have the promises of the parents and those chosen to help their children through their growing years.  And Handfastings have a more tradition than any other ceremony.  It includes the exchanging of vows, but also the tying of hands or the tying of the knot, plus the jumping of the broom.  It also brings in the traditions of the land, air, fire and water.  They believe much more in nature and included within their ceremonies much more that we do today.  However we do try to bring it back into our modern day type of a Handfasting ceremony.

We hope that you all have a Brilliant Christmas and New Year and do look forward to talking to you about the traditions that you would like to include in your ceremonies.

Christmas is coming!

Well Christmas is coming.  Hope you are all ready for the festivities and excitement?   We are just about ready, one or two last minute things to do then relax hopefully for a few days.

After the Festive holidays we will be looking forward to greeting and meeting all those lovely couples who were lucky enough to get engaged over the period.   Such fun to start off the New Year with the planning of the rest of your lives together. Starting with the all important day of your wedding.  If you want something entirely different to all your counterparts look no further because we can offer different, unique and beautiful or bizarre what ever you wish.   We always have a face to face meeting with you both either by meeting up or skyping if you are abroad or the other end of the UK  We then go through exactly what you would like to have within your ceremony and then go away and script exactly that.  But that is not the end of it, we send you your script for your approval so you know that it is what you want.   You can be assured that the ceremony will go without a hitch (hopefully) because we write everything down and arrive an hour before your ceremony time and double check that everything that you asked for is in place and all you have to do is turn up!

We will be attending a few chosen wedding fairs in the new year so watch out for the venue and date either here or on our facebook page.  Come along and check us out and have a chat.  This year we will be taking along our archway that we take to the Healing Weekend and use for the Handfastings so you will not be able to miss us!

On The Healing Weekend field

On The Healing Weekend field

 

Yes, we will bring the bisom along too!

Royal Wedding has been announced

A Royal Wedding has been announced and we are to expect it in the Spring of next year!   Huge Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle on their engagement, it is just the kind of news we need for the forthcoming year.  What a year it is going to be for the Royal Family, with a Wedding and a new Baby due around July!

I wonder what we can expect for the wedding, will it be a low key affair?  Or Westminster Abbey?   Will there be time for everyone to be invited and accept?  Afterall lots of Royals around the world have full diaries before the year begins, will there be cancelations?  I know I would be loath to cancel a Wedding I would be conducting if it clashed,  but I might be persuaded to actually mention that wedding too, but only if my Bride and Groom were up for it.   It is sometime taken as an honour to be married on the same date as a Royal, it has even been known for couples to move their date to the same day.  However others try to avoid it at all costs because they will be aware that their guest would wish to be viewing the Royal wedding on television.  However they could arrange to have it screened, wonder how many will?  I am sure there will be lots of speculation of Meghan’s dress, will it follow the type that Kate wore or will she go for the low cut effect?

It would be lovely if Prince Harry and Meghan decided to include a  hand tying within their ceremony,  how spiritual would that be?   I know that they could not have a full handfasting officially but I am always available if they wanted one afterwards on the lawns of Buckingham Palace!   Jumping the broom into their next stage of their lives together would be wonderful.  Come on Buck Palace give me that call!   Start a new tradition for the Royals to have two ceremonies, one formal and the really spiritual one to connect to the earth and all nature around us!

 

 

Remembrance Day

by Sheila Ellis 0 Comments

DSC01033For Remembrance Day we were so proud that David was asked by some of our villages if he would conduct a non-religious ceremony.   That happened today and although not a big turnout there were a nice number of people.  We had the two minute silence at 11am. David announced the names of all those village men that had lost their lives in both WWW and we planted a little cross for each under a Willow tree on the green.   DSC01034David then asked each and everyone to offer their own personal memories of the effects that wars had had on their families and friends.   Each was very moving and a few tears were shed.

Once the ceremony had finished we were all invited back to a local farm for refreshments and a chat.   I was talking to a gentlemen whose family has always lived in the village and he now lives in his Grandfather’s house and each and every male of the family had been in the war and fortunately all returned but yet some have been traumatised but they we expected to get on with their lives as usual and they did.   He told me about his mother with him in a pram was used as a target by a german plane while she was walking from her house to her in-laws house and ended up jumping into the hedgerow to get out of the way, once the plane has passed she just continued on her way as though nothing had happened.    It was really good to hear of each persons memories or those memories passed down about how people coped during those war years.

Added to today David is also saying a piece during the Church Remembrance day tomorrow.

Being a Celebrant certainly is fun and you never know what you will be asked to do which is why it is a brilliant job.

Most requested Ceremony dates

The most requested ceremony dates are not always the same date each year.   2018 appears to be a date in  August.  However, this year is was a date in June and last year a date in July and in 2015 it was an August date again.   There is no reason that we, Celebrants, can see for each date that appears popular for that particular year.20161023_69

Let me assure all the couples out there that are wanting the popular date of that particular year, we celebrants do have a network of colleagues that we can call upon or recommend if we get an enquiry for the popular date and we are already booked.  Before recommending them we always ask if they are available, and if so contact the next on the list and so forth,  But  if you wish to book us in particular. then you may have to be a little flexible on your time of the day so that we may accommodate both ceremonies without rushing.    Or maybe consider another date or the next day.   We do hate to disappoint couple who particularly wish us to conduct their ceremony and do everything possible to help.

At this moment in time I do have enquiries for this popular date, one of which was last year but no amount of correspondence has brought forth a deposit, which secures the date and time in my diary.   I know sometimes couples find it hard to pay everyone’s deposit so I do have a payment system, and the Bride to be assures me that she considers me booked!   I have written to her several times kindly telling her that I am not officially booked without her deposit or the start of the payment plan.   I have already turned down one other enquiry for the same date and now I have another enquiry so unfortunately I have to take the decision to look favourably on this new enquiry and if all goes well, and no reason why it should not, their deposit will be paid and it will be secured in my diary and no further ceremonies will be considered for that date and time.    It will be disappointing to have to tell the original enquirer that I can no longer perform her ceremony and I shall not look forward to doing so but without her deposit the date has not been secured.

I am only writing this to explain to others that they must make sure that the services of their preferred supplier is secured by paying their deposit.  No one likes to let people down but when it is a favoured date and with so many enquiries for that date you must secure us!

Unfortunately no one can predict which date will be the favourite for 2019 but enquiries are already coming in so make sure by paying that deposit.

Church Wedding and Handfasting

Every thought that you would have both a Church Wedding and Handfasting too?   Well that is just what a couple did last year.   I remember the first visit when they told me that the Handfasting, that they had engage me for, was to be held at the reception venue after the Church Wedding, AND they had invited the Vicar to attend too!  No pressure then!     I did ask why, and they said that they had recently discovered their spirituality but had already booked their wedding in the Church and they were friends of the Vicar so decided to go ahead with both.    At the first meeting I was blown away with what the couple wish for in their Handfasting ceremony. 20161023_68  They had already order the butterflies for a release but they had also booked Dove releasing too.20161023_50

Everything I suggested as options they decided they wish to have included making a very special ceremony indeed.    A full circle of the guest was at first what they wished for and this was to be outside the marquee on the lawn of their venue.   However, when discussing how it would all work it was decided that wet grass and ladies in high heels would20161023_60 not really mix so plan B was put into operation and a wooden gazebo at the venue was hired to house the two tables and for the ceremony.

On the day of the ceremony we arrived our usual one hour before the time of the ceremony, everyone was still in the Church across the road.   We set up the altar with the elements represented, we were given the beautiful cage of butterflies and met up with the people with the Doves and discuss the best place for their release so everyone could see it and, more importantly, the doves could fly in a circle over the heads of the guests.  Fortunately we had met the people before so we knew how they worked and what to expect, all of which was written into the script.

With everything ready and the Wedding singer warming up the guests started to arrive.  I soon realised that my couple had not told their guests that there was to be another ceremony and I gave up trying to stop everyone wandering into the sacred and cleanse ceremony area.   By the time the couple arrived all 200 guests had champagne in hand and suddenly realising that something else was going to happen!20161023_45

The only hitches that occurred were firstly the butterflies didn’t wish to fly out of their cage because the sun had started to go down and they were cold.  But actually it was a blessing in the end because those that did eventually fly out flew onto the couple and guests which thrilled everyone.   The other hitch was the fact that the couple had never tasted mead before, so when we did the bread and mead ceremony they loved it so much they drank it all down and the groom’s glass was empty when the photographer wanted to them to raise their glasses.  I had to quickly fill it up again.20161023_63

All the guests said how lovely and special the whole ceremony was and I think so much so because it was unexpected.

I am not sure if I will ever conduct another Handfasting straight after a Church Wedding again, but I have lovely memories of this one if I don’t.   Oh yes, the Vicar declined the invite!

Handfasting Venues

I am always looking around for lovely Handfasting Venues that couples will fall in love with and have everything that a spiritual ceremony needs.   As you may be aware Handfasting are, in general, held out in the nature, surrounded by nature.  So venues have to be in lovely setting and if beautiful too, even better.

On the top of a windy hill

On the top of a windy hill

 

I have already conducted Handfasting in the middle of Stonehenge, which was awesome and moving at sunrise. No one other than those invited. No visitors touring around the outside. Just us, the stones and the sunrise!

I have also conducted Handfastings on windy hilltops with the guests tents making their own little village.   In woods full of wonderful bluebell, which smell divine.  In parkland gardens with cobbled stonewalls.

Handfasting in a field

Handfasting in a field

In the middle a grass field which had a track and a circle mowed especially for the ceremony.   One in the lovely private garden, under a beautiful willow tree next to a stream which had a cute brick build bridge over for the party to cross to the ceremony area.

 

But apart from the fields and gardens there are other stone circles across the country and of course there is the Tor and Chalice Wells Gardens, where I will have the honour of conducting a Vow Renewal Handfasting Ceremony next year (2018) and also looking at one in the Avebury Circle too.

As I have already said I also conduct Handfastings in the fields of the Healing Weekend and will be there again next year.   So you see I go far and wide helping couples with their ideal Handfasting in their ideal part of their world and it is a real pleasure for me.

Also a pleasure for me is being able to announce that I have been talking to an established venue, which again is in the middle of nowhere, called The Lost Village of Dode.   This venue has a decommissioned church that they now use for weddings and which also doubles up for ceremony banquets.  Not only this they have made their own beautiful stone circle and called it Holly Henge.    This stone circle is down a slope away from the church and the whole overlooks more fields and nature, no other buildings in sight, it is truly amazing.   What is more amazing is that I am now a recommended Celebrant for this beautiful place and am now offering Handfastings in the middle of these stones.   I already have a couple very interested in having their ceremony there next year.   If you too would like to know more about Handfastings and also the venue of the lost village please do contact me.   Also if you know of any venue that would be lovely for Handfastings, or if you own such a venue, please do contact me so we can talk through how we can promote your venue and Handfastings together.

2018 Healing Weekend

 

On The Healing Weekend field

Ceremony Arch

The Healing Weekends in Somerset are an annual trip for us.  One that is so enjoyable for the Handfastings that we officiate and also because I, Sheila, also get to give Healing too.   Not many know but I am also a trained Healer with the Kent International Healing Association.   It is something that I have done for many years but generally only for family and friends.  Only in the recent years have I expanded to those that contact me through the KIHA website. On the Healing Weekend field we split our space so we have a lovely healing area, which also doubles as a space to chat about Handfastings with couples.  The rest is set up with leaflets and information about our work and  further on the field we have the ceremony area with flowered arch.

 

 

Although we were booked for this year’s (2017)Healing Weekend as usual, we had a very close relative’s Wedding to attend on that same weekend in Scotland.   After much searching and requests to our fellow FOIC trained celebrants, two very kind ladies offer to help us out.   The lovely Tanya and Wendy were both new to Celebrant work so it was an ideal opportunity for them to gain experience with Handfastings at a festival.   We of course gave them as much help as we possibly could and loaned much of our equipment too.  We really appreciated that they were continuing to offer Handfastings to the visitors of The Healing Weekend.  They also understood and were happy that we would take it up again in 2018.

So we are!  We have already been booked for next year’s Healing Weekend

and are so looking forward to being back on the field  doing what we love.  We are already receiving enquiries for the Handfastings, which is lovely!   So if you wish to book in for your Handfasting in 2018 please do get in touch quickly.

Hopefully we will see you on the field xxx